I like mayonnaise. I like fries. I’m going to go on record as a guy who like mayonnaise and fries. TOGETHER! That’s right, haters. Call me eurosnob, call me handsome, but you won’t change my mind. It’s a perfectly acceptable condiment for fried potatoes.
With that intro, I had a delightful time at The Wurst Place in South Lake Union, Seattle. A friend of mine is a long-time Wurst Place evangelist, but I hadn’t found the right opportunity to make my way over to try them. The fact that they serve twice-fried Belgian style frites, tater tots, nice root beer, and sausages (outside the scope of this blog) should have been enough motivation, but a invitation from the owner finally pushed me over the edge. Yes, my journalistic integrity was once again compromised. They gave me free food.
There’s a low-key Bavarian feel to the restaurant. It’s casual, but not cluttered. My kind of place. I checked out the menu and decided I should probably get an order of the frites AND the tater tots (for science), but I was torn by the amount of sauces they offered. They all looked fantastic.
If that sign is too hard to read for you, they offered:
- Sriracha Thai Chili
- Basil Mayo
- Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch
- Chipotle Aioli
- Garlic Rosemary
- Honey Mustard
Ordinarily they allow two sauces per order. I looked pathetic enough that they took pity on me and gave me all nine #puppydogeyes. They’re almost all mayo based, and as we established in my intro that was fine by me.
When my orders of frites and tots came out I was impressed quantity offered. Granted, it’s not a Flintstone’s platter of food, but there were plenty of fries and tater tots for me and my assistant. Both items were fried to a pleasant golden yellow and they smelled divine.
What differentiates Belgian frites from other fries is the preparation. The Wurst Place uses freshly cut potatoes that they soak and rinse three times, blanch, wait a day, and fry to order. They’re fried in canola oil and seasoned expertly in a large metal bowl. The end result is a slightly thicker fry that puffs a bit around the exterior. While they were fresh, they were incredible. Towards the end of the American flag paper cone they were a bit wilty, but still delicious. Not a single one went to waste. I give these a solid 8.2 out of 10.
The tots were tots. What do you want from me? They fried them really well, and they stayed crispy significantly longer than the frites. If you like tots, you’ll like these tots. They were arguably easier to dip into the sauces, so I wouldn’t hesitate to get some of each.
Speaking of the sauces, I liked them all, but my favorite might have been the Garlic Rosemary. The garlic wasn’t overpowering, and the rosemary gives the potatoes a heartier feel. The BBQ sauce was about what you’d expect, same as the mayonaise. The peppercorn ranch was a bit runny (but tasty), the basil mayo was great. The Sriracha Thai Chili was more exciting than I thought it would be. Wasn’t too spicy, but had a kick. The chipotle on the other hand was a nut-punch of heat on the first bite. My tongue adapted, but the other sauces were pretty mild and it snuck up on me. I expected the Hell sauce to be hotter than it was, but I was really happy with it. It has ghost peppers, lemon, and some other fun ingredients. It’s the level of heat where you end up eating a lot trying to outrun it…but you can’t. I’d get it again. Honey mustard was more of a chinese mustard (hot). There was also a curry ketchup that snuck its way on my plate.
I really liked the Wurst Place. I’ve also gone 650 words without make a “Wurst Place? More like ‘Best Place’!” joke. Congratulations to me.
Thanks again to the management of the Wurst Place for hosting me. The 8.2 was earned.
Sampled on 9/15/2016